Your eyes bear constant pressure every day. Most often you tend to ignore eye problems, taking them as minor complications. However, it is important to take good care of your eyes to promote long term eye health. Eating a well-balanced diet, with the correct nutrients, is one of the best ways to help the eyes to recover from everyday wear and tear. Consuming antioxidants as part of your diet will help you in maintaining eye cell growth and neutralising damage from free radicals, which may be the result of exposure to pollutants or a by-product of metabolism. Free radicals need to be neutralised by an antioxidant; otherwise they can damage vital lipids, tissues of the eye lens.
Common Eye Conditions
- Macular degeneration is the result of ageing. A painless eye condition, macular degeneration causes gradual loss of central vision.
- Cataract is the eye condition when the eye lenses feel cloudy. The eye condition is most common in diabetics and also with those on medication such as steroids.
- Glaucoma occurs due to a progressive deterioration of the optical nerve. This condition causes an increased pressure in the eye and may even damage the retina and nerves if left untreated.
- Eye strain is the sensation of tired eyes, often accompanied by increasing problems when focusing or seeing.
Nutritious Diet for Healthy Eyes
Research reveals that a diet rich in caretonoids lutein and zeaxanthin helps in reducing the risk of eye disorders, such as cataracts and macular degeneration. Increasing intake of lutein-rich foods, such as green leafy vegetables, and zeaxanthin-rich foods, including yellow and orange fruits, can help in improving eye health. Vegetables, such as apricots, sweet potatoes, carrots and peaches, are great for eye vision.
Foods rich in antioxidants, such as bilberries, cranberries, blueberries, blackcurrants and cherries, are great for maintaining eye health and good vision. Bilberry extract has been known for strengthening and protecting eye veins, thus helping in the improvement of night vision as well as short-sightedness. Research proves that the flavonoid-rich bilberries improve the flow of blood and oxygen to the eyes. Anthocyanoside also helps in regenerating the purple pigment in the retina necessary for maintaining good night vision.
A number of recent studies have highlighted the importance of fatty acids for good eye health. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that eating oily fish once a week could help in halving your chances of developing age-related macular degeneration.
However, remember to limit the intake of fried foods, processed foods, foods with trans-fatty acids, especially those found in sugar, margarine and aspartame. Also, excessive amounts of alcohol can worsen eye damage, so it is important to limit your consumption accordingly.